The launch of IAD 16 in Fife

Launch event

Welcome to 2016 and to Fife Year of Food in Innovation Architecture and Design, in the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of launching this exciting new project, here is a little more about it.

This year has been deemed by our promotion bods at Visit Scotland and The Scottish government as the: – Scotland – year of Innovation Architecture and Design. In the same way as last year was Scotland- Year of Food and Drink. I have teamed up with Fife Council Tourism partnership team to ask you to bring your our own take on this. Lets promote our wonderful food and produce and celebrate our fantastic seasonal produce with a rolling calendar of events, festivals, open days, celebratory dinners based on Fife’s remarkable history of its people and its buildings. Just consider for a moment the enormous impact both food and Architecture, Design and Innovation has made on our landscape, culture and history.

Look at all the fishing villages, where fish have been landed, processed and distributed for hundreds of years, sustaining communities who have risked the lives of their men folk to go out to sea, building up traditions and connections over the years, and to the women who have sustained both the industry and their families.

Look at the conversions of buildings once created for a food related purpose and now re -used in a manner more suited to our times. The Byre Theatre in St. Andrews which in its original incarnation housed cattle on the edge of town and now it is a thriving arts centre under the auspices of the University where it has flourished since rising phoenix like from the ashes last year. It was there that as part of the St. Andrews festival last November I hosted a couple of “Food Conversations” with some notable food connected people, such as Geoffrey Smeddle Chef proprietor of the Peat Inn who has recently redesigned his premises to give it a more contemporary feel. Bruce Bennett at Pillars of Hercules, whose wonderful organic farmstead and shop has developed “organically” over the last 30 years. Through his Innovations making best use of up to date but environmentally friendly ideas, he has created a series of buildings which reflect his landscape. All the wood is taken from the estate, with an unheated area to display the organic vegetables for sale, through to the shop and cafe with wood everywhere. Not to mention the composting toilets. Innovation? Architecture? Design? Look no further. Another of my guests was Owen Hazel whose family own and run Janettas ice cream shop with a cafe next door. This has also recently undergone renovation, a new design, connecting shop and cafe.

Consider all the farm steadings in Fife, converted for residential use each one a unique reflection of an architects’ innovative use of unique features within a prescribed building. All based on an original need and now redesigned for a modern use. The town of Glenrothes was built as a new town on farm land. Designed as a brave new place to house the growing population, Areas such as Caskieberran and Cadham were all farms before the new town was built. Farmers themselves are Innovative in their methods. Look at the beet factory in Cupar, the only one in Scotland, it took Innovative Fife Farmers to build that and Broccoli was first farmed commercially in Fife as well as espalier grown cherries. When it comes to Innovation in agriculture Fife’s farmers lead the way.

This year we will be urging people in Fife be it through communities or businesses or museums and galleries, festivals or events, to celebrate Food in Fife through our great buildings and structures, through our innovative farming and our historical heritage. Join in, and welcome share these experiences with our visitors


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